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John Matthews
Site editor & property expert

Repossession Laws & Legal Terms

Get The Best Outcome By Understanding All The Legal Terms

If you have received a court summons for a repossession and have to go to court, you will have already experienced some of the legal language used to describe repossession law. This page lists all the legal terms surrounding repossession law to help you understand what it all means in plain English.

Calling date:

The date on which the case will first be heard in court.

Calling up notice:

A calling up notice may be sent to you if you have missed payments to your mortgage or secured loan and your lender is starting repossession proceedings.

Continuation:

The judge can decide to continue your case. This means that they will not make a decision on the day, but will fix another date for your case to call at court again. This could be to allow time for 1) you to get debt advice, 2) a cheque to clear, 3) you to make a payment.

Decree:

This is the judges decision in favour of the defender or the pursuer. If your lender is asking to be allowed to repossess the property and decree is granted, you will have to move out.

Decree of Removing / Ejection:

This will end your legal right to live in the property and mean that you have to leave.

Defender:

The person the legal action is against. In the case of repossession, this is the borrower.

Default Notice:

A default notice is the notice you must be sent before standard repossession procedures can be started if you have a secured loan or second mortgage for less than £25,000. It is different from a notice of default.

Diet of Proof / Proof Diet / Proof Hearing:

This is a hearing at which evidence is heard from witnesses before the sheriff makes the final decision.

Dismissal:

The judge can dismiss the case. This means that they do not think that there is a case to hear. This could be because: the lender has not followed proper procedures; you have made a repayment arrangement with your lender; the lender asks to stop the legal action.

Ejection Order / Warrant of Ejection:

An ejection order is a court order stating that you have to move out of your home so that your lender can repossess and sell it.

Expenses:

The costs of a court case. If your landlord is taking legal action against you because you have done something wrong, you could be asked to pay their expenses.

Extract Decree:

If after 14 days of the hearing no-one has appealed against the decision, the extract decree will be issued. The extract decree gives the authority to enforce the decree if the defender does not comply with it. The extract decree states what the court order is and the date that the defender must comply by. For example: if there is a repayment arrangement; it will say when the first payment must be made; if payment is to be made in a lump sum, it will state the date when the money should be paid; if there is to be an eviction, it will state the date after which the eviction can take place.

First Calling:

The first occasion the case is heard in court.

Heritable Property:

This is the term used in eviction cases. It refers to land and property that cannot be moved, for example a house as opposed to a car.

Initial Writ:

An initial writ is a document letting you know that an application has been made to the county court. You will be sent an initial writ if your lender is applying to the court for the right to repossess your property or for an order to make you leave the property.

Notice of Default:

A notice of default may be sent to you if you have missed payments to your mortgage or loan and your lender is starting repossession proceedings.

Pursuer:

The person who started legal action. In repossession cases, this is the lender.

Reponing Note:

If you were not at court when your repossession case was heard, you can lodge a reponing note and ask for the case to be heard again to give you the opportunity to attend. You will need help from a solicitor and must have good cause for not having gone to court when your case was first heard.

Section 2 Order:

A section 2 order is a court order that can be used to delay or stop repossession. Only certain people can apply for a section 2 order.

Section 24 Notice:

If you have missed payments to your mortgage or secured loan, you may be sent a section 24 notice if your lender is starting repossession proceedings.

Statement of Claim:

The part of the summons where the pursuer states the facts which they are relying on when they take you to court. These form the legal basis of the case.

Stayed:

If your case is stayed, it is stopped to see how things work out. If your case is sisted for a year, your lender can recall the stay at any time during that year and bring the case back to court if you fail to keep to an arrangement you have made with them.

Also See: Suspended repossession pages &
Voluntary repossession pages or how to sell your house house quickly in a cash sale.

I hope you have found this information useful and if we can be of help please get in touch.

Best Wishes, John.


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